On Staying “Left of Bang.” Learn How To Prevent an Active Killer in Your Workplace or Homeplace!

I am likely guilty of oversimplifying the Left of Bang principles.  If so, I suggest you purchase the book of the same title.  If you are concerned with preventing violence or even a catastrophe, it will open your eyes.  It will blow your mind.  It may be your first step in becoming a Combat Profiler, or being able to recognize when someone is planning on bringing harm to your congregation, your classroom, yourself…

Perhaps a true story will illustrate the importance of abiding by some of the principles of Left of Bang that I have been advocating literally for decades.  This story will, I hope, prove the efficacy of establishing a Yellow State of Mind (see previous post), identifying an anomaly (from a baseline, also talked about in previous posts) and being able to move from Yellow to Orange (identifying a specific threat and matching that with a specific plan of action if that threat materializes in the Red State of Mind!

In other words, being aware, assessing what you are aware of, and once you do, anticipating what might or will happen in the immediate future unless you do something, and, then, here’s the trick:  doing something about it!

Tara Bemeth

Don’t expect specific details.  I know about Tara from my research I did for one of my books.  She was part of a security team for a Baptist church in the Denver, Colorado area.  Tara had a hardline baseline for her church.  Meaning, she knew everyone in the congregation, knew them well.  Called many of them “friend,” some were even relatives.  Tara was nowhere close to being an expert in combat profiling, or just plain, ordinary profiling.  All she was was a security team volunteer.

Oh, yeah, she was determined.  She really, truly cared that no harm would ever come to any of her friends or relatives.  There was that.

This Autumn Sunday upon which I am focused began like any other Sunday.  The pastor waxed eloquent, she noted in her report.  The congregation appeared in high spirits.  Well, most of the congregants were anyways.  There was the Brewster family (I am making up this name; my notes don’t cover this).  Mother and twin daughters.  Something about them was simply “not right (anomalous).”  They constantly looked around and from time to time the mother had to comfort the twins by stroking their hair and hugging them.

The other thing:  Mister Brewster.  He had never missed a service before.  Not as long as tara had been part of the church family.  Tara was beginning to get a  “real bad feeling.”

Mister Brewster never showed up throughout the service, and, just as it was about to end, Tara walked from the prayer session to the lobby where she was able to observe the parking lot.  There she saw the husband pacing back and forth, forth and back around his pickup truck parked sideways – unusual – away from the scores of cars owned by the usual congregants.

When the services were over, as usual, the church doors opened and several families avoided shaking hands with the pastor, which was not that unusual, but the others gathered in the usual “reception line” around the pastor with a few families departing.

Tara noticed Mister Brewster immediately going to the back of his truck and pulling out an object covered with a white towel.

Something really really was out of whack.  Tara stopped the Brewsters from leaving.  She wanted to interview the mother.  Ask about the domestic situation, but there was no time.  She alerted the pastor and the others from the security team.  No one was permitted to leave (lockdown) and the police were called.  Two of the security team, who were armed and trained, took up position.

Probably sensing something was awry, Mr. Brewster got back into his truck and rocketed out of the parking lot.  He was stopped a mile or so away.  The cops didn’t have to search hard to find the loaded shotguns and one 357 Magnum.  When interrogated, Brewster admitted being determined to gun down his wife, his children, and for undetermined reasons, the pastor.

Be Aware, Assess, Anticipate and Act.

Until next time, Stay safe.

The Hammer


A note to anyone asking him or herself what the heck “Left of Bang” is, kindly click back to my last post titled “Left of Bang.”  If you choose not to, it matters little because what follows will make sense either way, I believe.

My point here is, the key to safety & survival is to avoid being caught Right of Bang.  Better put is “the key to S & S is to always get caught LEFT of Bang!  How do we do this?


Most of us do not have ample life experiences (with terrorism, active shooters, and the like) to make quick, life-saving decisions like experts.  Ergo, introducing my (Winology) substitute for the genuine intuition and adopting, adapting expertise it usually requires to adroitly prevent massacres like that of the Sutherland Baptist Church.

  • By constantly being aware we can proactively take action before getting caught Right of Bang.  Accomplishing this is surprisingly simple, requiring us to stay in the correct state(s)-of-mind.  I have been teaching officers and lay citizens the Yellow State of Mind for decades:  “a relaxed 360-degree awareness of people and things that surround us at all times and being particularly aware when “normal” changes to “abnormal.”

And adapting, adopting and activating the best & most basic skills of observation, (combat) hunting, and “urban know-how” & combining them to increase our ability to identify threats.   I know this is a lot to bite off and chew, so let my try to break it down in this and the next post.  After all, these are the Three Pillars of the vaunted Combat Hunter System.

Basically, what these “pillars” boil down to is learning how to “read the human terrain through an increased understanding of human behavior…which will teach (Marines) how to separate the ‘sheep’ from the ‘wolves.”


The 3d pillar of the Combat Hunter is likely the most crucial.  COMBAT PROFILING is a method of proactively identifying threats based upon human behavior and other cues from one’s surroundings.  You can do this by incorporating these 4 skills: situational awareness, sensitivity of baselines & anomalies, critical thinking, and decision-making (the pillars of my Winology Philosophy).

In the next post I will narrow down the narrative on profiling.  Specifically:

  • SIGNATURES OF DANGER.  How can you maximize your ability to identify the person/people who may be the next mass-murderer in your workplace, church, school, etc?

Until then, stay safe.

The Hammer